Report No. 162
4.9. Grouping Appeals before CAT/SAT and the proposed National Appellate Administrative Tribunal.-
It is the need of the hour that for expeditious disposal of cases, all cases which raise one or more common questions of law and on the basis of which, the cases can be disposed off by a common judgment, should be grouped together and heard together. Thus in the 79th Report of the Law Commission of India on delay and arrears in High Courts and other appellate courts, this recommendation has been echoed as quoted in Chapter III (supra).
4.10. Similarly, the Law Commission of India has recommended in its 125th report on "The Supreme Court-A fresh look" in paragraph 4.20:-
"Cases covered by earlier judgments of the Court must be grouped together by a computer."
Besides the decisions of the apex court, if there are judgments of the proposed Appellate Forum, then the cases covered by it, and pending before CAT/SAT and even before the proposed forum, should be grouped together and disposed of together.
In order to implement the recommendations contained under this paragraph and the preceding paragraph, in a true spirit, CAT/SAT and the proposed Appellate Forum should appoint research officers, to assist the respective Tribunals in this regard, in finding out the common cases, and the judgments already pronounced by courts which are binding on the cases pending. They will be definitely assisting the Tribunal in increasing the expertise and efficiency of the Tribunal and thus realise these objectives.
CAT/SAT and the proposed forum may from time to time invite applications from the litigants/opposite parties. The Research Officer may then scrutinise the claim of the applicant and put up the research note to the Bench for passing the appropriate orders. The Forum may issue notice to the parties before disposing of the cases as per the judgment already pronounced by the higher court and binding upon it. Similarly, an exercise may be done by the Research Officer for grouping of the pending cases which can be heard together.